Volodymyr Masliychuk acknowledges that he belongs to a “blank generation” of Ukrainian scholars: fully formed professionally after the collapse of the USSR, it benefited from the demise of rigid ideological constraints but was handicapped by the institutional collapse of the academic sphere. Besides financial and infrastructural hardships, the main disadvantage of Masliychuk’s cohort has been the disintegration of the old professional community and the failure to create a new, modernized one. A year after the Maidan revolution, the situation has not changed. Masliychuk’s answer to the absence of universally upheld professional criteria and relativization of academic standards is methodological conservatism: his self-proclaimed positivism aims at making his conclusions “bulletproof” by providing exhaustive evidence and curbing any hint of speculation. A social historian of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Masliychuk identifies several of the most promising directions of study in his field. He insists on the importance of studying Ukrainian lands within the broader imperial and European context, paying special attention to emancipation movements of different kinds and local versions of modernity.